A Gen-Z’er who loves books, not social media


Samuel Chacko

Adam Marx stares at the sky and sits right near the train tracks near Downey on March 17.

If you had to describe Adam Marx, you’d find an ambitious Biochemistry major at Cerritos College, but he’s not as married to technology and social media as your average Gen Z adult with big dreams.

This stemmed from a childhood lacking in technology around him and how his mother, one of his role models, got him to love reading.

“My mom really likes to read and she got me into reading […] and got me into buying paperbacks, fantasy, sci-fi,” Marks explained calmly as he held his hands together.

With a newly found birth of free time, Marx has returned to one of his first love for leisure: reading.

The Biochemistry major likes collecting books from his favorite sections like fantasy and sci-fi but recently liked collecting science textbooks.

This love of science textbooks however spawned from his curiosity in learning more in school.

“I was never satisfied with the lessons I was given in school,” Marx said, “They teach at a certain level and then go to the next level, I always wanted to go ahead [of that] and was never allowed to.”

He wasn’t always in love with books, he was peer pressured into joining social media — he’s since come to regret caving to the pressure.

“I think especially when you’re younger, you feel as if you need an identity […] and if everyone has social media and you don’t have that one thing, it creates a disparity between you and the rest of the group,” Marx said.

Adam Marx intently reads the huge books in front of him on March 17. (Samuel Chacko)

“I made the conscious decision to delete it and try it for a few weeks,” Marx added, “It’s been 2-3 years now and I’ve never regretted it since.”

This love of reading a science textbook, cover to cover, helped him discover his love of Biochemistry in high school.

“It has made me think about a lot of various subjects in many different ways,” Marx said, “Not even just the knowledge […], just learning different perspectives.”

He also explained how reading breaks outside of his way of normal thinking, “I may not always agree with it but it certainly helps to develop more empathy for other people.”

Marx said that the reader he’s most passionate about is Gene Wolfe, “What drew me to him was his method of writing, it’s very complex and almost written in the sense that it’s not easy.”

The biochemistry major explains that his writing forces you to think about his work and decode his work, which he joked, “If I could write like Gene Wolfe, I wouldn’t need to go to school.”

His favorite work from Gene Wolff is called, “The Book of the New Sun,” which is a fantasy novel that’s a four-book series.

Marx likes more complex and older authors but specifically loves reading fiction, “It’s very much that they know about but you might not know about and you have to pick up context clues.”

The main point he makes on why books are beneficial in his life is because it makes him think outside the box.

“You’re probably not going to find something revolutionary or something that makes you think outside of the box or something that makes you think,” Marx explained about social media.

While reading might seem as beneficial, he explains how reading also impacts him negatively

“It’s very disheartening,” he said about the generation’s perspective on reading, “It’s led to me being more isolated [mentally and intellectually].”

While reading might seem beneficial, Marx explains how it also partially impacts him negatively, “ I find it often that others have a hard time understanding me.”

The biochemistry major said that the desire to reach for knowledge is absent in the younger generation and how the younger generation should apply what they’ve recently learned.

“I’ve noticed a lot of younger people’s [..] social intelligence is limited, it seems as though a lot of younger people are social to the extent to function to a normal degree in the world,” he explained about the impacts of social media.

Marx believes that social media may die out on its own or become less popular in the future, “You’ll have some people that will be [careless] from it and they’ll delete it [social media] and maybe they’ll go onto something more productive.”

“You’ll have those people who use social media or addicting agents, it’s not doing it for them anymore and they’ll just continue to do it because that’s all they know how to do and they don’t want to take a risk,” he adds.

“I would try to find a hobby that isn’t necessarily playing video games or going online, maybe have your hobby grow your own food,” Marx said as his advice to the next generation, “Engage in something that gets your mind thinking.”

“Start by developing a skill […] and once you start doing that, you might actually feel as if going on social media or playing video games are a waste of time because you could be doing something else that makes you feel better.”